Trump discusses Syria, North Korea over phone with Putin

International |  IANS  | Published :

Washington, Nov 22 : US President Donald Trump spoke with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin over phone for more than an hour about the ongoing conflict in Syria, the anti-terrorism fight in Central Asia and the Middle East as well as the nuclear threat posed by North Korea.

In a statement, the White House said that the two leaders on Tuesday reaffirmed their support for the joint declaration they both adopted during the recent Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in Danang, Vietnam, in which they committed to work together defeating the Islamic State terror group in Syria.

Trump and Putin stressed the importance of implementing UN Security Council Resolution 2254 to "peacefully resolve the Syrian civil war, end the humanitarian crisis, allow displaced Syrians to return home and ensure the stability of a unified Syria free of malign intervention and terrorist safe havens", Efe news reported.

The conversation took place shortly after Putin received Syrian President Bashar al-Assad on Monday in the Russian Black Sea city of Sochi, a visit that was organised in secret but reported on Tuesday.

The White House statement did not allude to the efforts to push for a new peace process in Syria that, according to the Kremlin, Putin revealed to Trump and other international leaders, including Saudi Arabia's King Salman, with whom he also spoke over phone.

Upon leaving the White House for his Palm Beach, Florida, residence for the Thanksgiving holiday, Trump briefly told reporters about his talk with Putin, whom he said spoke very seriously about bringing peace to Syria.

Trump and Putin also discussed the "importance of fighting terrorism together throughout the Middle East and Central Asia and agreed to explore ways to further cooperate in the fight against IS, Al Qaeda, the Taliban, and other terrorist organisations," the White House said.

Both leaders spoke about "implementing a lasting peace in Ukraine as well as the need to continue international pressure on North Korea to halt its nuclear weapon and missile programmes", the statement added.

On Tuesday, the US Treasury imposed sanctions on 13 entities charged with engaging in maritime and terrestrial shipping with North Korea, one day after Trump returned Pyongyang to the US list of countries considered to be "state sponsors of terrorism".

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